Graduation time is a special time of year for most students. On Friday, graduation was extra special for one Mt. Carmel High School student.
Rady Children’s Hospital is not the typical place for a high school graduation but for 17-year-old Salma Al-Hinn, it’s the place where she accomplished two major life goals – and all in one week.
Al-Hinn has been waiting for a new kidney for the past four years, going to dialysis three times a week.
On Monday, she finally received the long-awaited transplant organ but as a result of her operation, she had to miss her high school graduation from Mt. Carmel High on Tuesday.
However, on Friday Al-Hinn enjoyed a surprise, personal graduation ceremony at Rady Children’s Hospital.
Her high school principal delivered her diploma during a very special ceremony with doctors, nurses and the teen’s family in attendance.
Balloons, cake and, of course, tears were flowing at Al-Hinn’s unique graduation party.
“It’s just an amazing feeling. My feeling was beyond description,” said Al-Hinn's mother at Rady Children's Hospital.
“It’s like a dream come true,” added the teen's father.
The special ceremony at the hospital was as official as it gets, with teachers and administrators rooting on the graduate.
"As a member of the class of 2012 and a graduate of Mt. Carmel High School I'm asking you to switch your tassel to the left side,” said MCHS principal Dawn Kastner at the ceremony.
Al-Hinn’s high school graduation wasn't her only milestone.
"I'm glad to graduate dialysis and high school the same week,” she said.
Now, the grad feels her future is brighter than ever. She plans to go on to college.
“It’s a new start now,” said Al-Hinn.
Her parents said they do not know much about their daughter’s donor, but they are grateful.